Posts Tagged ‘Lebron James’

The Point Four-ward: In (Con)Tract-ion

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) It has become almost commonplace to say that LeBron James never stops surprising. For all the highlights, the masterful performances, and even this season’s Herculean Finals run, he’s just one of those players who can still surprise. He can surprise, in spite of how much more surprising his feats must be than those of other players. He can surprise, in spite of our judgement of him being set so ridiculously high.

This summer has been no exception.

No, LeBron hasn’t come out with a surprise on the scale of Summer 2014’s “The Return,” but in smaller ways, he’s proven just as difficult to anticipate.

Take, for example, James’s stance on the Tristan Thompson contract negotiations. First, when it was widely expected that James, who shares agent Rich Paul with Thompson, would wait for Thompson to come to terms before signing his own contract with the team, James did the opposite. On July 9, the first day that NBA free agent contracts could be signed, James informed the team that he’s be back on what amounts to a one-year $23 million deal (the deal’s second year, is a player option for $24 million).

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Pop Quiz: Cavaliers Off-Season

Monday, August 10th, 2015

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August is a terrible month for concentration. Amid all of your trips to the beach, gastrointestinal conundrums like this nestled beneath unassuming tents at the state fair, and attacking your “before summer’s over” bucket list with the precision of a drunken surgeon (which, really, let’s be honest, is just a much longer list of g.i. ticklers… like any one of these), it can be difficult to keep focused.

But the 2015-16 NBA season kicks off in a mere 11 weeks, so there’s no time for us here at CtB to laze about and get the mental version of a paunchy tummy (physical versions… well, that’s another story). We need to stay mentally sharp — on the ready.

In the absence of an ESPN-affiliated drill instructor to kick in our CtB barracks door at 4:45 am and make each one of us recite LeBron James’s career shooting percentages with five seconds or less on the shot clock for games decided by exactly three points while running uphill carrying a Mo Williams jersey filled with rocks, well… we opted for a quick pop quiz instead.

Feel free to play along and match your own off-season Cavs mental prowess against our crack team of writers. Or… you know… start looking for rocks for your Mo jersey.

1.) True or False: Tristan Thompson will be re-signed by the end of August.

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The Point Four-ward: Got Them Benchwarmin’ Blues

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) The Cavs didn’t just re-sign a cult hero when they inked guard Matthew Dellavedova to a  one-year $1.2 million deal, they created the type of depth and flexibility in their backcourt that the team never really had last season.

When the Cavs decided to trade Dion Waiters for key pickups Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith last January, they found themselves down one reliable ball handler. Then, when they decided to sign aging big man Kendrick Perkins rather than a third point guard they doubled down on the fact that they’d be okay with just two point guards on the roster — Dellavedova backing up starter Kyrie Irving — because their primary ball handler was and would continue to be LeBron James.

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Cavs: The Duels-Does Anderson Varejao fit?

Monday, July 20th, 2015
Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao warms up before an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao warms up before an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Dec. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Editor’s Note: After noticeable debate around the CtB water cooler, we decided to take it to the mat, and offer a full on tag team rumble over Andy’s fit on the Cavs. Cory and Mallory are the Wild Thing Doubters, while David and Nate remain faithful members of the AV Club.

David Griffin’s state of the franchise press conference after the Cavaliers tumultuous 2013-14 season gave few definitives on the future. He didn’t know who would be back, including himself. “Fit” was the primary theme of his speech and having players that complemented each other was the only way the team could swim its way to a solid foundation, out of the murky waters of lottery lake. The only members of that team who are anticipated to play for the franchise two seasons later are Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao. Irving broke down in the playoffs after growing defensively and as a professional during his fourth season. Thompson was the Cavs’ second most reliable player during the playoffs, and his value is still to be determined. Which leaves Andy. Varejao missed 56 games and the entire playoff run after suffering his most devastating injury to date, a ruptured achilles. Irving and Thompson are the present and future; does Varejao still fit this team?

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Review: LeBron’s Movie Debut in “Trainwreck”

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

This weekend at the box office marked the arrival of the first major role in a feature film by LeBron James in the sometimes raunchy, sometimes romantic comedy, Trainwreck. Directed by Judd Apatow, and starring the talented and occasionally controversial comic, Amy Schumer, Trainwreck opened Friday (technically late Thursday night) to fairly positive reception from critics and audiences alike.

Despite this being LeBron’s first real foray into acting on the big screen (not counting his appearance in the documentary “More Than A Game”), The King had a fairly sizable role, as the “best friend” character to a sports doctor, played by Bill Hader. And, although he was essentially playing himself, it was a somewhat more exaggerated and comical version of LeBron we know.

Going in, I wasn’t sure how LeBron would fare (given the sometimes painful performances sports figures are capable of ruining films with), but ultimately, I came away fairly impressed with his comedic chops… especially since he reportedly had no acting lessons in advance.

[Warning: Minor spoilers ahead]

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The Point Four-ward: Roster-farian

Friday, July 10th, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) We all knew it was going to happen.

But, when LeBron James re-signed with the Cavs for one year at $23 million (and a second year, a player option, at $24 million), a collective sigh could be heard across Cavs Nation. It wasn’t a sigh brought on by anticipation, it was a pure sigh of relief: relief that James wasn’t going to drag out his contract negotiations forever leaving the Cavs in an even relative limbo.

No more stories about how James planned to wait until last to re-up with Cleveland, putting symbolic pressure on the organization in their attempts to upgrade a roster that, even when greatly depleted, got to Game 6 of the NBA Finals. Now it’s official: James will be a Cavalier again.
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[BREAKING NEWS]: LeBron James to Re-sign

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

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ESPN’s Chris Broussard still had enough energy after his hilarious Twitter beef with Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban, to break the news that LeBron James will re-sign with the Cavaliers for two-years, with a player option for the second season. The timing was impeccable.

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The Point Four-ward: Live Life and Let Griffin

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

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Four points I’m thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers…

1.) One thing I keep coming back to when looking at the Cavs roster with their bevy of free agents, both restricted and non, and a couple of preferable, if not glaring, holes to be filled before the team tips off their new season around Halloween 2015: if I can predict it, that probably means it’s not going to happen.

I’m not talking about the obvious moves here. I’m not talking about whatever deal the team gives to Kevin Love… or Tristan Thompson… or LeBron James. Those are all likely to happen and they’re likely to happen in one of only a few different ways.

James will (most likely) sign another two-year deal featuring a player option for the second year that will allow his Highness, The King, to continue to maximize his maximum contract status as the salary cap grows over the next several years.

Of course, he could sign elsewhere. But not really.

Or he could sign a multi-year contract. But, again, not really.

James will, as expected, remain a Cavalier… a fact that, admittedly, would have been quite unexpected to imagine writing at this time last year.

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Your Comprehensive 2015 Cavs Free Agency Guide

Monday, June 29th, 2015

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Well, Jensen Karp blew up Twitter last night when he tweeted a get-together pic between KLove and the King (pic edited). I guess that’s as good a way as any to kick off the madness that will be the 2015 NBA free agency period. So, release the NBA suits! In less than 48 hours, teams can start recruiting free agents (12 AM EST, July 1st). Of course, any free agency talk for Cleveland starts with the fact that LeBron James has officially opted out of his contract and is now a free agent. Of course, everyone expects the King to re-sign with the Cavs, and the official line is that he is taking a “wait and see” approach with regards to the Cavs and free agency. Windy reports.

Last week, Cavs general manager David Griffin said the team had been in regular contact with James since the end of the Finals and that he was “very engaged” in discussions about the roster. Sources told ESPN, however, it is James’ intention to stay somewhat removed from the Cavs’ free agency until other free agents are handled.

Translation? James’ cap hold of $21.6 million is less than the free agent contract he will sign later this summer, of about $23 million dollars. But, for maximum flexibility, it may help the Cavs to “officially” sign him last of all. In light of this, let’s take a look at the Cavs options in free agency, both with their own free agents, and prospective ones.

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The Road Forward

Friday, June 19th, 2015

 

Alright so let’s talk offseason moves. Questions by Tom Pestak, answers by me.

If I had to choose between J.R. and Shump I’d go Shump. J.R. is basically a moderately efficient spot-up shooter at this point. With a sprinkling of cross-over stepbacks and 20 point games. But assuming a healthy Irving and Love, spot up 3 point shooting isn’t as critical as stout perimeter D. Nate?

J.R and Shump are fine. Each can play three spots in the Cavs’ system. But Cleveland will still need more wings. J.R. will opt out and command between $6 and $7 million per on a three year deal, with the standard non-fully guaranteed last year. Shump will be the last major guy the Cavs deal with in free agency, unless someone else signs him to an offer sheet, first. I imagine he and J.R. will get around the same sized deals. Shump could get a four year if he wanted, or maybe three year with an opt out.

If the Cavs finally break the curse, will Windhorst have to apologize for his podcast rant last season about how “Gilbert thinks he can buy success?”

Gilbert can buy success this year. The question is, will he? That’s the quarter billion dollar question. If he can get it done for under $200 million, Dan will hold his nose and pay. He’ll also reverse course on the luxury tax system in 2007. Remember, Mr. Gilbert is one of the main guys that wanted this system that, it turns out it, just punishes the competitiveness of small market teams. I bet there’s a lot of ruing going on in the offices of the Q, because the number could be higher than a quarter billion. (more…)